Mastodon The Writing Desk: Book review: The Final Year of Anne Boleyn, by Natalie Grueninger

19 February 2023

Book review: The Final Year of Anne Boleyn, by Natalie Grueninger

Available from Amazon UK, Amazon US

This is a book to treasure, to keep in pride of place, and return to.  I wish I could set aside all I thought I knew about the final year of Anne Boleyn’s life as, like most people, my memory is tainted by the many myths and stories going right back to my history lessons at school.

For example, even the story of Anne's body being placed in an elm arrow chest due to lack of a coffin does not stand close scrutiny, as the original source, thought to be the diary of the surveyor of ordnance at the Tower of London, is long since lost.   

Natalie Grueninger paints a compelling  portrait of a woman trapped by circumstance, yet almost winning against the odds.  The tragedy of her final months is one of the most haunting of Tudor history, so I understand why so many accounts are over simplified and embellished. 

This book offers a authentic and fresh perspective, and I found it fascinating to reconsider the well-known stories in such a well-researched context. 

Inspired, I revisited the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London and stood in contemplation at Anne's final resting place.  I feel I know her a little better now, but there are still many questions raised by Natalie Grueninger's thought-provoking account of this intriguing woman.

Tony Riches 

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About the Author
Natalie Grueninger is a researcher, writer and educator, who lives in Sydney with her husband and two children. She graduated from The University of NSW in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts, with majors in English and Spanish and Latin American Studies and received her Bachelor of Teaching from The University of Sydney in 2006. Natalie has been working in public education since 2006 and is passionate about making learning engaging and accessible for all children. In 2009 she created On the Tudor Trail (, a website dedicated to documenting historic sites and buildings associated with Anne Boleyn and sharing information about the life and times of Henry VIII’s second wife. Natalie is fascinated by all aspects of life in Tudor England and has spent many years researching this period..Find Natalie on Facebook and on Twitter @OntheTudorTrail

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